Creative Destruction

May 4, 2006

Thoughts on Moussaoui Verdict

Filed under: Current Events — Tuomas @ 8:42 pm

Zacharias Moussaoui was sentenced for lifetime in prison, to the disappointment of many, and to the delight of opponents of Death Penalty. Many those who like this decision, such as zuzu at Feministe have tried to explain that this robs the Jihadists of one more martyr figure. As if the Jihadists didn't spin all decisions to make themselves look like either martyrs or heroes in their struggle against the "Great Satan" and the "Little Satans".

Personally, I feel a man like him would have richly deserved death for his actions. I support Death Penalty to terrorists, indeed, I feel that giving terrorists a promise that they will not be killed seems like an ethical suicide. Still, I just can't seem to get too worked up about this, like Jeff Goldstein, for example. He (ZM) got a fair trial, and the jury decided to extend mercy to a man who would not extend mercy to others.

Fair trials and mercy are not weaknesses in the Western Democracies (even if they sometimes give unsatisfactory results), the true weak ones are the Jihadis whose ideology would not survive against obviously better ideologies were it not for the fact that they kill those who do not share it (via religious "trials"), and provide hyperbolic promises (conveniently in the afterlife, like the 72 virgins) to their foot soldiers. Combined to the fact that useful idiots* in the West refuse to provide alternative. Because that would be "cultural imperialism".

Perhaps I would not fell the same had 9/11 touched me in the same way it touched Americans, though. But perhaps again, this decision will force some European leftists (or perhaps not. Sigh.) to admit that America is not a "brutal police state", and will further demonstrate the difference between the U.S and the terrorists that oppose it. Which is IMO crucial in the War of Ideas between fundamentalist Islam and Liberal Western Democracies. Those who fight monsters must take care to not become monsters themselves.
* Not directed to Jeff G, obviously!

1 Comment »

  1. Although I am beyond hawkish, I can accept the verdict. Moussaoui undoubtedly deserves death, but that does not oblige us to give it to him. I disagree with the contention that this will cause Muslims to consider the West weak; I think it will sow confusion and some dismay that even in the face of a horrible atrocity against our civilization, we were able to show mercy towards a now-harmless exemplar of the fascist threat – and we did so via a democratic process, not a governmental dictate.

    Jihadist psyops are oriented around getting us to over-act and to undermine our standing around the world; this goes some way towards insulating against that threat. I do not think that Al Qaeda’s leadership is pleased by the fact that Moussaoui will end up rotting impotently in a cell instead of getting a government firing squad.

    Comment by Robert — May 4, 2006 @ 10:44 pm | Reply

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